By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The day after Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved the lifting of participation requirements for Petrobras on all exploration projects, Royal Dutch Shell executives went to Brasilia to talk to Brazilian President, Michel Temer, about the R$10 billion the multinational plans to invest in the country in the next four years.
“We will look at new opportunities, such as next year’s auctions and new pre-salt auctions. If there are opportunities, we will look at the possibility of expanding our investments,” said Shell President, Ben van Beurden, during a press conference after speaking to the Brazilian President.
According to Shell Brazil President, André Araújo, the lifting of the requirements is big step towards attracting more investments and opening opportunities and conditions for new players to integrate the Brazilian market.
Currently, the law establishes that pre-salt exploration operations must necessarily have at least thirty percent of Petrobras’ participation. Araujo, however, said that Shell has an investment ceiling for these types of projects.
“In order for us to present projects and new opportunities, they must be truly competitive so that they can be well-ranked within the portfolio and the (limited) investment opportunities the Shell group has around the world,” Araujo told journalists during the press conference.
In addition to Van Beurden and Araujo, Shell partners who are also interested in investing in the Brazilian oil market also attended the meeting with Brazil’s President. Shell’s global executive said that the meeting could open up other investment opportunities in the country as well. “I can not speak on behalf of the investor groups, but it would surprise me if they left here with any impression that is not positive about Brazil,” he added.